Hip to Sip: Top 5 hospitality tea trends
The world’s most humble beverage has never been more fashionable. While the global tea trend is not new, health-conscious consumers are driving the way the traditional brew is being prepared and served. There’s endless tea inspiration to expand beverage menus and to give consumers plenty of variety and an immersive tea experience.
Rich in antioxidants, tea can protect the body against cancer-causing free radicals and boost immune response. Trending teas that include potent adaptogens (turmeric, ginseng, liquorice root) and spices like ginger are believed to reduce stress and inflammation. Traditionally served hot or cold, without milk.
Classic black tea, with added milk (served hot or cold with sugar) is still a firm favourite, and includes trending tea options like lattes and bubble teas. Variations like Hong Kong milk tea are especially popular. Also known as ‘pantyhose tea’ because of the traditional method of straining, it’s served strong, creamy and sweet by adding tea leaves, evaporated milk and condensed milk to boiling water.
The spicy chai latte tea trend has taken the world by storm. Made by mixing steamed milk with black tea (concentrate or delicately infused bags) it’s inexpensive and comforting. Current trending teas include iced chai lattes and ingredients like chocolate, vanilla and pumpkin and matcha latte. Matcha powder, made from the same plant as green tea, packs more of a nutrient punch with increased caffeine and antioxidants. It can be whipped, whisked, frothed or steamed with dairy, nut or coconut milk.
Also known as Boba or tapioca tea, bubble teas became popular in the 1980s in Taiwan, when black tea, milk and sugar were served (mostly cold) with chewy dark tapioca ‘pearls’ at the bottom of the glass. Today there are many versions of this iconic drink. The ‘pearls’ can be more explosive and made using green or white tea, and topped with ingredients like fruit, sago and foam.
Festive iced teas
Whether you’re in the north or south, the tea cocktails trend is a big menu drawcard. Iced teas are versatile – from adding warming cinnamon and apple cider to refreshing lemon and watermelon chunks – and visually appealing. Trending tea, Darjeeling wine tea, is topping the charts in many parts of the world for its wine-esque premium appeal. It has a rich caffeine content and a hint of tobacco and cocoa that combined with a sweet flavour is reminiscent of grapes.